In cricket the Champions trophy is a big event, in simple words, it’s like a MINI WORLD CUP. So considering the weather and conditions in England we need to select the squad in such a way that it provides the right balance in the team. We should look for players who are fit and technically strong in the present. Not just because one or two good innings in the IPL. So who will get into India’s 15 man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy?
Virat Kohli (captain),MS Dhoni (wk),Shikhar Dhawan,Rahane,Yuvaraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav,Hardik Pandya,Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
(1) Shikhar Dhawan – However unpopular this choice may be, I would back Dhawan as he was the Man of the Tournament in the last Champions Trophy which was also played in UK. Also, he does hog the spotlight, he returns back in form when the stage and the stakes are high. Classic example would be his return in form in both ICC Champions Trophy 2013 & ICC World Cup 2015.
With KL Rahul being injured, Dhawan’s partnership with Rahane can establish a very good left hand right hand combination.
(2) Ajinkya Rahane – Rahane finds a place in the XI because it is England and we need a technically strong opener. I believe that he can play an important role in the team, He is an outstanding overseas player. The experience that he provides and his ability in the field is likely to secure his spot in the squad, His overseas batting average is more than all other batsmen in the team. He can ease pressure on the side in any situation by rotating singles. He is also one of the best slip fielders in current squad you can expect many nicks at initial overs in England.
(3) Virat Kohli (captain) – The captain’s bat has spoken a lot over the past few years and I need not say anything extra. Virat is undoubtedly in the form of his life. The Indian captain will be crucial to India’s chances of retaining the tournament they won in 2013 by beating England in the final.
(4) Yuvraj Singh – Since his comeback he has looked more dangerous than ever. Other than Dhoni, the Indian middle order lacks experience who can play under pressure. Yuvi’s innings of 140 against England proved that he still has it and can deliver on the biggest stage. With experience that he brings, he will be an integral part of India’s bid to retaining the title in England and will play a key role in this batting line-up.
(5) MS Dhoni (wk) – This legend needs no explanation! I really think MS should bat at number 5. At 5, he is in a perfect position to finish games as well as steady the ship when the top order fails to fire, with his 61 not out against SRH, Mahi sealed the lips of his critics !!
The fact that the burden of captaincy doesn’t weigh him down anymore is another added bonus for India. His experience in big tournaments would be an added asset to the team.
(6) Kedar Jadhav– He’s the finisher India has been looking for some time to replace Dhoni. He is a keeper who’s handy with the ball. His selection in the team will gives Dhoni and Yuvraj an opportunity to play higher in the order giving stability to the middle order which for some time lacked this.
So far in IPL 2017, he has continued his good form. With the all-round option that he provides, he is a certain starter in the Champions Trophy, even if conditions aren’t likely to be conducive to his style of bowling.
(7) Hardik Pandya – Pitches in england will need a fast bowling all rounder and we don’t have many options in the all rounders lot . So we will have to pick Hardik Pandya. And he’s the bowling all-rounder and essentially the fifth option in a five-man bowling attack, who can open the bowling and help Kohli plan better for the Champions Trophy in England. With two new balls, Pandya will be even more effective at the start in England. So far in IPL 2017, Hardik Pandya has proven to be an excellent asset to Mumbai Indians.
(8) Ravindra Jadeja – Golden ball winner of the Champions trophy’13 & his handy batting in finals against England in finals helped India to clinch the trophy for second time. Even though spin is not so useful in England, Jadeja is useful because he uses the pace and flight to take wickets and can score some valuable runs too. His tight line and good fielding is an asset for the team. Also he’s economical and has tasted success in the last edition of the tournament
(9) Ravichandran Ashwin -Ashwin didn’t have a great ODI season recently but that shouldn’t be a problem for his selection. He’s experienced and presently the best spinner in the world. Ashwin will be leading India’s spin attack. His rise as an all rounder will do India a world of good since now there is more depth in the batting. He is inevitable in the team if your team needs a breakthrough he can get you with his variations bowling arm ball, carrom ball, Playing in England is an added advantage
(10) Umesh Yadav -If you want to learn from your mistakes, he is the best example as he was heavily criticized for his line & lengths. But that how now become his major advantage along with the pace that he adds to your team. His control over the new ball, swing with the new ball, reverse swing with the old ball, his pace, and his form has made him an ideal fast bowler. His skill to bowl on Indian wickets and producing match winning performances on flat and spin friendly surfaces in the grand home season leaves me in no doubt that he should lead the fast bowling attack.
(11) Jasprit Bumrah – One of the best death bowlers in current Indian team & economical even with his leg crushing Yorkers. His ability to bowl Yorkers at death-overs gives him a spot in the playing XI.
To me, this is an ideal XI for Champions trophy, but conditions in England are different from place to place. Since we can’t decide a particular XI with confidence, we have to elect the full 15 squad.
(12) Rohit Sharma -I have not selected him in the XI, because he is not a batsman who can perform in every match, He will score a century in one match and will not pass double figure in the next 3 matches, so it’s worthless, but yes, he is technically strong batsman, and has good understanding with Dhawan in opening and is a good backup for an opening pair.
(13) Suresh Raina – He is back in the form after his inning of 81 in IPL. However, his selection in the playing 11 should be on the basis of how he has improved to play the short-balls which has always been a weakness in his game. UK tracks supports fast bowlers, and if he wants to feature in the starting 11, he has to counter the fast bowlers hitting the deck. On the other hand, he is an excellent fielder with a lot of experience in the big tournaments,
(14) Bhuvneshwar Kumar – If there is one problem that India have always had in the limited-overs, it is their bowling at the death. And leading wicket tacker in IPL 2017 so far, Bhuvneshwar Kumar looks like the ideal player to solve that. The fact that he can swing the new ball as well makes him an invaluable asset in English conditions. And looks like an ideal backup if Kohli want to make some changes according to pitch and conditions.
(15) Mohammed Shami – He may not have been the first-choice for playing XI, but when fully fit Mohammed Shami will directly walk into the 15 man squad. He has the whole bag of tricks and will be an invaluable asset when fully fit.